Sealed with a kiss!

Sealed with a kiss!
Laura & Chris' Wedding at JCRaulston Arboretum

Monday, February 24, 2014

Classy Elegant Wedding for Merab and Justin at Mandolin!

Merab and Justin met when they were both law students at UNC School of Law. They were friends and study buddies first then the relationship deepened into love. After 4 years together, they decided to marry. With the help of their wedding planner, Katie Dunn with La Fete, they put together a very unique wedding that was elegant yet cozy. Merab contacted me in mid-January to see if I could officiate for them on February 15, 2014 and I was able to coordinate their wedding with another one before theirs only a few blocks away. Synchronicity at work! 
Not normally a wedding venue, Mandolin, a restaurant in Raleigh in the Hayes Barton neighborhood near the corner of Fairview and Oberlin, was transformed for the event.
The space has been home to many different restaurants through the years but evidently Mandolin has successfully blossomed into quite the Southern culinary experience with international influence thanks to its owner and chef, Sean Fowler, who previously was chef at Fearrington. The decor is minimal but elegant and organic.  There is a small private dining room that could be used for smaller weddings too.
When the guests had all arrived and taken their seats at the tables and the parents seated in front, Justin and I entered and waited for the bride.
Merab was escorted in by her father, Don, from the side. (It was tight quarters, no aisles, and not much room for Marty to maneuver around for photos.)
 Their parents.....
The couple wanted a short but meaningful ceremony which we developed via email with their input for their story.
 And of course, laughter at a wedding is always good! 
 Now they are husband and wife! 
Justin and Merab, what a delightful couple you are. You knew exactly what you wanted and made it happen. I am honored to have been part of your lovely wedding and getting the two of you married. I wish you all the best always!
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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Adrianne and Joey's Fun and Creative Wedding!

Adrianne and Joey knew from the get-go that they wanted a unique wedding ceremony that reflected their personalities and their commitment to each other. They chose the Brooks Avenue Church of Christ in Raleigh for their wedding ceremony on February 15, 2014. It is a gorgeous sanctuary as you can see. The musicians from North Carolina Strings are setting up their ensemble down front.  We had had a major snow and ice storm a few days prior to the wedding and everyone was happy that the weather had significantly improved so everyone could get to the wedding. Their reception was held at the University Club.
They included a sand ceremony and before the wedding, they had their mothers pour in sand to symbolize the coming together of their two families.
Nicole Conder with Premier Party Planners was on hand to get us all organized and down the aisle. She is good! I have worked with Nicole many times and highly recommend her. She goes above and beyond.
Our groomsmen are hanging out in the lobby ready to escort in the guests arriving. They had handsome white suits, white shoes, white hydrangeas for boutonnieres, and Joey got them all mirrored aviator sunglasses to wear.
First in was Joey's grandmother and grandfather. Adrianne's grandmother was pre-seated with the guests because she needed a walker and preferred not to be part of the processional. 
 Joey's mother, Marianne, was escorted in followed by Joey's father, Joe. 
Mother of the Bride, LaMae, was escorted in followed by Adrianne's father, also named Joe! 
Time for the bridesmaids and Nicole has them all lined up to go. Teal is such a pretty color for a wedding and the white hydrangea bouquets really pop the color. Adrianne's mother was our florist and she did a beautiful job.
Now time for the couple's "children," Wiley and Sweetie! They were really such well-behaved dogs and quite friendly because as they walked down the aisle they wanted to greet each person lining the aisle!
 Sweetie's wreath of flowers did not bother her one bit. It was like she had done this all her life! 
And now we all are in place waiting for the bride! Note that the groom and groomsmen hung their sunglasses on their pockets. That was the plan all along!
Adrianne, a strong, independent woman, chose to walk herself down the aisle. 
Joey stepped down from the altar and together they ascended the steps to be married. Great symbolism.
A warm welcome to all followed by a prayer and remembrance of those who had passed on, then the couple honored their parents who then gave their blessing for the marriage.
Laura, a friend of the couple, regaled the guests with a reading of Taylor Mali's "Owning a Dog is Like Falling in Love."
The story of how Adrianne and Joey came next. Knowing these two, it was filled with humor and the guests (and Joey) really enjoyed it.
 Adrianne made her vows to Joey. Then it was Joey's turn. It was a surprise for Adrianne. 
He walked over behind the groomsmen and retrieved a stack of poster paper on which he had written his vows in very large letters with some illustrations too. They were funny.
While he was showing the posters, he had an Elvis Presley song playing too. Adrianne was moved to tears!
 The rings came next...
 They poured their sand together.........
Nice layers of pretty colors......
 The very moment they legally become husband and wife!
 Sealed with a kiss! 
 Looks like they are pretty happy to be married!
 And off they go amidst the applause and cheering!   
Adrianne and Joey, you did it! All your hard work and planning paid off and the wedding was beautiful and with a few surprises that make it YOU! I am honored to have been part of your special day and wish you all the best forever!

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